Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Violinist in the Metro

i came across this mail and i knew i had to share it with my friends. i had been wondering since long how insensitive we have all become, we hear something but dont notice it. last night as i was blogging i npticed a wail but in a minute it was forgotten but then as i was about to get to bed late that night i finally couldnt ignore it, it was a baby crying and she had been crying ever since the evening. often we see something but we dont pay attension. we hear something but dont enjoy it. something about it touched me and it is something i wanted to write on but never managed to. but this piece tells it all. read and tell me how you liked it?

From The Effective Club
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

17 comments:

Keshi said...

powerful post!

Alot of ppl dismiss the subtle n hidden beauties of this world...cos they always seeker higher and bigger n expensive things. But the BEST things r free in life and r available right around us...Im glad I dun ignore em. I do stop to SEE, FEEL n LISTEN. :)

Keshi.

Pranav Kumar V said...

ping from last comment at previous post... and what with the font color on the first half of this post??

Pranav Kumar V said...

I'd say, it definitely must have affected the lives of many more people who enjoyed a moment of peace/calm/whatever for the few seconds they passed him... THAT is what counts!! And the kids didn't have a job to keep... so, they'd be staring at absolutely anything unusual with their jaws dropped!! Must say, a great experience for the violinist!!

Thanks for sharing... Good indeed...

Until later, see you when I see you... :)

Phoenix said...

@keshi
thanks :)

Phoenix said...

@pk
sorry about the front colour.. i must have screwed up but no worries i rectified it!! :D

Chronicwriter said...

thats a sweet ppost... it makes me to play my guitar again..

yamini meduri said...

when the mind starts thinking
when the heart starts feeling

then the ink fills into a channel
and comes out through that a nib

in the form of powerful words
words that can change the life

you got that pen that not only writes
it also remembers the words read

you rewrite those words to wake us up
from the deep sleep that we are in

not only you rise from your ashes
Dear Phoenix, you are helping us too..!!

GOOD GOING PHOENIX....!!!
atleast 90% of your readers yould have thought about wat they are missing and i am certainly one among them...!!!

ki said...

It happens so much! We fail to notice what lies before our eyes... :)
A good, insightful post. :)

Preetilata【ツ】 said...

applauds. it touched me. it's surely an eye opening post.

thanks for sharing such a beautiful mail.

Mithe said...

Hey, thats emotional! Thanks for the new awakening....:)

Richa said...

yeah, agreed, we tend to notice for a few moments, but then the pace of life takes over..

consider the blasts.. the explosions for once attract everyone's attention but then after a few days, the normal life continues..

RiverSoul said...

Its shameful to see what is happening in today's world.

This story really brought out the rude reality of today's fast paced hectic time controlled world.

Gr8 post.
:)

Aneesh said...

it is right that in this busy world, those who are able to notice the simple things can enjoy life and live happily while someone who looks for happiness will never get it. Good post and a nice experiment
:)

ANWESA said...

i'll have 2 agree wid keshi,a powerful post indeed!! n anoder aspect is-its not ur work,but ur name counts.for ex-we can trash a talented singer in his strugglin dez,but we alwez rever a famous celeb.its name-game dat rules.

Harshita said...

I agree with Keshi and Anwesa here, it indeed is a powerful post and I am more proud to knw u now.

Thanks for sharing this. I will try not to miss on life when it is passing by.

Zubin said...

You are getting even more amazing day by day..!! :)

..and believe me..I am like those little children..I really really am..(especially when its about music)and its really annoying to people around me.. :p

sometimes I just halt by the road side to enjoy the weather or even fog these days. That literally kills my time-management though..!! :D

Ria said...

very well said and so ture indeed. :) Btw i love music so i m most likely not to miss such a performance.